Student Involvement

One of the main goals of HDI is to prepare the next generation of Christian relief and development volunteers, practitioners, and scholars through educational, mentoring, and research opportunities.


Student Classroom Learning

The programs and projects of HDI are discussed, when relevant, in related courses such as Research Design and Community Psychology in the Psychology department. This creates an opportunity to link together the general knowledge gained in the classroom with the application to specific projects and the use of methods in a real-world situation.

Student Mentoring

HDI is dedicated to mentoring students and to student personal, spiritual, and professional development. HDI is intentional in creating mentoring opportunities and experiences, such one-on-one, small group, and campus mentoring activities. Overall, mentoring is a key aspect of and is integrated across HDI activities, including student research, faith and learning, and experiential learning opportunities.

Student Research

Poster PresentationHDI believes that research training is an important part of student education, which can not only enrich their educational experience, but also make unique contributions to expanding the role of the church, such as learning how to write grants that will bring new and needed resources into underserved communities and regions. Using program development skills to evaluate and improve (or create) new strategies, approaches, and programs to help those in need is another example. Students are engaged in HDI research through:

  • Dissertation Research

    HDI supports dissertations in the area of humanitarian disasters. Examples of research topics include disaster recovery, spirituality and trauma, violence, and the role of faith-based organizations in community resilience.
  • Student Initiated Research

    Students may initiate projects in their own areas of interest when such interests are linked to the global aims of HDI. Examples of student initiated projects include: a gender violence project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, review of spirituality and trauma, and best and promising faith-based practices for addressing human trafficking.
  • HDI Grants and Contracts

    HDI acquires grants and contracts in the areas of domestic and international relief and development. These are intended in part to create opportunities for students to engage in using their skills in real world problem solving. In some cases students and student teams will work within the Applied Research Lab to support some aspect of a grant or contract. In other cases the grant or contract may offer opportunities for student support.

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